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tv   116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 2  CSPAN  January 1, 2019 9:31pm-9:57pm EST

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aggressive policies. to aggressive policies. we were able to pass significant legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build green transportation, genetically improve building standards. i think we can do so at the federal level if we figure out the right plan and the right tactics and the right coalition. leaders.ngress, new watch in all on c-span. a record number of women and minorities, and first-time politicians are part of the 116th congress. c-span recently spoke with several of them. he has worked as a venture capitalist and business
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professor. decide toy did you run for office? >> very simply because i love my community and thought it needed a change. fifth generation resident, my grandfather came out on a wagon upin in surge of gold, came short to be a peach farmer. my first job was paperboy for the local newspaper. when i saw issues i care about most -- health care, immigration, jobs -- my community was being left behind. i wanted to fix it. >> did you get ahead -- how did you get ahead of the incumbent? >> health care was our strongest arrow in the quiver. i could not hold my baby brother
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when he was born for the first time because there were all these tubes coming out of and in the intensive care unit. he came out with a health care bill 104 pages long. luckily we had insurance to take care of it. now he is a healthy local college student. my brother would not have insurance until he was 65 and on medicare because of my congressman's vote to repeal the affordable care act. there are 100,000 people in my district with the same story. 23 million americans would have lost access to health care. i think everybody saw that and felt they had to get off the sidelines and get involved in politics because their loved ones were at risk. >> one headline said you are the only venture capitalist headed to the house of representatives. what were you doing before you ran for office? >> a range of things.
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i have been focused on the same issue of economic development, just a different lenses. i worked on a nonprofit in east africa helping farmers get access to markets. i was investing in businesses trying to get small companies to scale and create jobs. i was teaching community college briefly, helping people start their own ideas and go on to become entrepreneurs in a community where only 16% of adults have a college degree. on the issues i cared about, on the economic development issues, the bottleneck is not caused by a lack of teachers, lack of a great entrepreneurs, it is a lack of leaders with political courage to get something done. with thezed to deal same problem i have been dealing with my whole career, but from
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the political arena where i can make a huge difference. >> what are your priorities? , jobs.th care we have one of the largest immigrant communities, over 10,000 reamers. -- dreamers. i know their stories. one woman working two part-time jobs. her daca protection expired last october. we need to protect these kids and focus on the american values we live. third, jobs. we have to fix an area -- an unemployment rate close to twice the national average. that is what i anticipate doing in congress. >> what advice have you been given about serving in the house of representatives? >> keep an open mind and work
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hard and reach across the aisle. those three are top of mind. i have been lucky to get a wonderful set of mentors, people invested in my success, people like congressman lofgren, congressman angular and others who represent similar districts to mine. i don't have the luxury of preaching to republicans or democrats, i come from a swing community where 40% voted for trump and the rest for hillary. i have to forge those compromises. in this congress, i think we have a lot of leaders who have a incentive in a divided era to make sure we are governing and getting stuff done. >> what was your parent's
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reaction to your victory? they were shocked iran in the first place. callm anticipated the would be about 45 other things before i announced i would run for congress. my parents come from a long line of public service. not all that politically engaged. working on those same issues, but the political lens. they were unbelievably involved in our campaign. my mom was knocking on doors. i think they are excited about a moment where our community can come together, where we can create action where we have been campaigning on. >> a retired duluth minnesota police commander elected to represent minnesota's eighth
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congressional district. he served as county commissioner and played professional hockey for the detroit red wings. >> from the northern suburbs of minneapolis st. paul north and east to the canadian border. the center is the city of duluth, minnesota, on the western tip of lake superior. 27,000 square miles. on duringt of miles the campaign. >> what are the priorities for the district? >> we are blue-collar commonsense conservatives. we have timber, ag, mining is big. we have the most inland port, seaway port authority of duluth. but exports from
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around the world. >> you were born in that area. >> my mother was a medical records administrator and my father sold janitorial supplies. >> what did your childhood look like? >> we all played hockey. hockey was a big part of my family. divisionr and i played i hockey. my brother won an award playing hockey. i won the national championship division one. my younger brother rob just coached the u.s. women's olympic hockey team to the final. i was fortunate to play hockey with the detroit red wings. hockey is part of our lives. >> what have you learned from playing hockey? >> teamwork, perseverance. hard work is always the equalizer.
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many people never gave me a chance to play division i hockey. it was through hard work, and dedication, just that drive to meet your goal. >> how long did you play professionally? >> two years. i retired after injuries to my neck. i became a police officer in st. paul, cottage grove. i moved to my hometown and became a police officer, rising to the rank of area commander. i was basically responsible for the western half of the city of duluth for long and short-term problem solving. how did you decide you would run for the seat? >> i spent time on the city council, six years as a st. louis county commissioner. i stand on the shoulders of that great generation, and i want to make sure the next generation,
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our children and grandchildren, and the same hopes, dreams, opportunities my generation had. that is what propelled me to run for this office. >> what will be your priorities? >> to keep the progrowth economy:, to work on health care. i want to make sure our ag community, the timber community, and mining community is taken care of. mining is our present and future. >> elected to california's 39th congressional district, he served in the navy and later won millions in the california mega millions lottery in 2010. you used to be a republican. >> a long time ago, a while back.
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it has been a while. i would like to think i'm a good strong democrat now. we have been talking to people about progressive issues like common sense gun legislation, immigration reform, protecting our environment. my favorite subject to talk about his education. >> why did you become a republican and why did you make the switch? >> i decided after 2008 i needed to go in a different direction. -- likei valued issues common sense gun legislation, education, immigration reform, these are all issues that have been important to me. they were issues republican party was continually moving away from. after the 2008 election, the way they attacked president obama with the whole birther movement
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was not something i wanted to be part of. >> you ran in a predominantly republican area, orange county. why did you run this time for this seat? >> it was never something i aspired to do. i was happy working on education issues my wife and i have been doing through our foundation. after the 2016 election, i think we needed change. we knew someone was going to stand up to the current administration. we needed somebody to advocate for those whose voices were not heard. i went around talking to people. they told me, maybe you should think about running. i sat down with my wife and we talk about those issues important to us like education, and health care, commonsense gun legislation, protecting our
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planet. to when i decided i needed run for congress. >> your foundation, when was that founded and what were the goals? >> we founded that in 201 and it was about0 creating opportunities for individuals. i was the first in my family to go to college. people look out for me. we want to give people a leg up, to them on a path to college. we have been doing that by creating scholarships, investing in early education so kindergartners can develop a love of reading. >> what were you doing before the foundation? navy out ofto the high school. i was fortunate to get the navy
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rotc scholarship. i went into the navy four years, served my country for 10 years. i worked for frito-lay out of while, did varies manufacturing jobs in shipping and receiving. after that we started the foundation after we had a stream of good luck and won the lottery. >> $266 million? >> that was it. >> how have you spent the money? >> for us, it is creating our organization, to give people a leg up through education. we knew we wanted to do that from the beginning. we were lucky to be able to really invest in our students. we know an investment in them is
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an investment in the country. joining you wife be in washington dc? >> i am sure they will visit me but my wife will spent the bulk of the time in california. she is not a cold weather person. being california girl a, she is not used to this. i was born and raised in southern california, lived there my entire life until i went into the navy. i have had the opportunity to live across the united states, and i can't think of a greater place than southern california. priorities beour in washington and explain how that impacts your district. >> on the campaign, the number one issue people talked about was bringing down the health of health care, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs,
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protecting those with pre-existing conditions. that will be my first priority. the other is competence of immigration reform. we know it can pass. same thing with common sense gun legislation. 90% of americans want that. that is what we are going to work on. we will also protect our environment. as you said, education is a issue to create opportunities for those that need it. >> finally c-span spoke with republican dusty johnson who won the at large 77 ca distric seat. >> you have to be willing to work hard. i have been elected in south dakota before. i served as state public utilities commission are. -- commissioner. you have to remember who the
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boss is are. you have to be willing to go out to every corner of the state. for me it is an publication and -- it is not an obligation but an opportunity. >> can you speak about the commute? >> as long as you make it productive time, you will feel good about it. most members of congress work hard to do their homework, but that is one area where i will excel. the good lord did not get to meet with all talents, but one was the ability to do my homework. 116th will always be the guy at committee hearing who understands what the line of questioning should be. that is why i will add value to this place. the first step is making sure on the flight home i am doing my reading. the last four years i have been
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in business, mitchell, south dakota. we have in engineering and consulting firm. we help rural telecommunication providers. we do business in about 40 states. we are out and some of the most remote arts of this country -- in some of the most remote parts of this country. we put out the fiber optics so family can have the speed to compete in a global economy. south dakota is doing well. we are certainly doing better than the rest of the country in rural connectivity. there's plenty of room for improvement as long as you have one person out of the country who doesn't have high-speed internet, you have work to do. we have hundreds of miles of fiber optic design. nationwide we do 800,000 miles a
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year. states.lot in 40 other >> how would you describe your political style? >> collaborative, right of center. if i was emperor, we would have a federal government with less intrusion into people's lives. we would allow state governments to be innovative. we would give them more flexibility to solve these problems. my style is not that if i don't get my weight, i will burn the whole place down. we compromise to take another step tomorrow and another step the day after that. that kind of incremental progress is frustratingly slow. that is really the only way this kind of government works. the founders didn't set it up so it would be fast and easy, but
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so this deliberate process would give us good government for the long haul. i am looking forward to being part of it for the next two years. >> anyone you met who you think you will be able to work with? >> so much has been made of the person ranker -- partisan rancor in washington dc. i have not seen it. whether from new york or minnesota, these are people interested in building bridges. ben that adams and i from utah were talking about, is there an opportunity to work together? we have a lot more in common than opposition. we are both excited by the opportunities. there are a lot of things i
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don't agree with my other friends on the side of the aisle on. muzzle myself, but i will not take a political shot to make a political shot. >> how do you define success? >> i am a policy guy. i don't feel like you make policy by screaming on television. i comes down to showing up in committee to get these important but not very sexy provisions put into the larger bills. when you think about the farm bill, it is important we have investment in rural housing, rural broadband we were talking about earlier. it is also making sure our crop insurance program is robust so that one bad weather evened does
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not -- event does not put everyone out of business. >> do you have a political mentor? >> we were speaking just before we went on camera, senator johnson, -- thune, a guy who also does his homework. there are parts of our style that can be very different. i always try to take something different from different leaders. people who had every possible opportunity have given me a word of encouragement, a what of advice. it is sometimes said republican leaders like to eat their young. that has never been my experience. found they, i have have been welcoming to people who want to share the burden. >> you spent time in the
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governor's office. >> chief of staff as governor of south dakota. state has a $4 billion budget. that may not sound like a lot to your viewers in california or new york, but is big to a country boy like me. it was an incredible opportunity to help the governor put his values into place. the governor is a ceo of the corporation, the state government. that is the detail work at which i excelled. the average tenure for a gubernatorial chief of staff is 18 months. when i stepped down after four years, i was the sixth longest tenured in the country. it was a joy to go to work every day for the people of south dakota. >> four years in the governor's thece, the occupant of
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office now going to the governor's mansion. is that your interest someday? >> south dakota has a fantastic governor. more importantly i have a job to do for the next two years. i think it would be insulting to the people of south dakota to take my eye off this ball and focus on one down the road. they may throw me out in 24 months. i think they are less likely to do that if i take care of business now. >> have you thought about what your first floor speech is going to be about? >> i have not. before i start making speeches on the floor of the house, i want to be relevant. and member of congress can show up and give a speech with flowery oratory. what if the people listening
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don't take it to heart because they don't respect the speaker yet? if they don't respect them on the day of that speech, that speech means nothing. it is political windowdressing. i am capable of speaking from the heart and authentic way. before i try to impress upon the people of south dakota what my views are, i will make sure i earn the respect of them. >> new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. the incoming freshman class of the new congress includes most women elected and military veterans. c-span recently spoke with some of the new members. elected to represent mississippi's third congressional district, he has served for madison and

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